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A Maori welcome for Webb Ellis trophy

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A Maori welcome for Webb Ellis trophy

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Another principle actor of this year’s Rugby World Cup arrived in Auckland ready for the show to begin. The Webb Ellis trophy was given a traditional Maori welcome on its touchdown on Friday.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key was on hand to greet it and left no doubt that the country was ready for kick-off.

“New Zealand is fully ready to host the Rugby World Cup and to host a very successful event. So I know all New Zealanders are looking forward to what will be a great sporting tournament here in New Zealand.

‘‘All I can say is having had the cup delivered to New Zealand, the job of the mighty All Blacks is to keep it in New Zealand and we wish them all the very best of that.”

The 20-nation event, which will be spread across 12 cities gets under way on September 9 when hosts New Zealand plays Tonga in Pool A.

Pool A

Canada

France

Japan

New Zealand

Tonga

Pool B

Argentina

England

Georgia

Romania

Scotland

Pool C

Australia

Ireland

Italy

Russia

United States

Pool D

Fiji

Namibia

Samoa

South Africa

Wales

By Joe Allen